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Texas GOP pushing for at least...

Texas GOP pushing for at least 1 armed security guard in every school

A few months into Texas’ 2023 legislative session, Republican state lawmakers have been narrowing their list of priority bills to pass into law. Near the top of their list? Putting at least one armed officer inside every school in the Lone Star State. 

House Speaker Dade Phelan has placed extra emphasis on a bill that would require every school in Texas to have an armed officer on campus and would also allocate $15,000 annually per school for additional safety measures, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Talia Richman.   

The legislation, filed by Lubbock Rep. Dustin Burrows, is designed to add additional layers of protection from school shootings, in response to the May 2022 Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas. According to reporting from the Morning News’ Richman, Republicans generally argue that beefing up schools’ security measures and adding armed staff is the best approach to safeguarding against another mass shooting.

This approach has been met with significant opposition, however: “Some child advocates, however, have expressed concern over adding more officers to schools, saying such moves could negatively affect students. Additionally, officials have pointed to staffing shortages among police ranks as a challenge,” Richman reported.       

Republican Speak Dade Phelan highlighted Burrows’ school officers bill in a release issued last week, according to Richman. The bill was among a number of other proposed laws aimed at responding to active shooter threats with enhanced school security and shooter response plans highlighted by Phelan as top priorities last week, according to the Texas Tribune’s William Melhado